Men and women are affected differently by substance abuse, behave differently as addicts and respond differently to treatment. All this means that when choosing a rehab facility, your gender is an important consideration. Most treatment programs are coed, but female-only facilities are available. There are many reasons you might choose one of these for your addiction treatment, but ultimately only you can decide which option is best for your needs. Here are some important reasons a program focused only on women is worth considering.
- The most effective treatment is individualized. Research shows that addiction treatment is most effective when it is tailored to each individual’s needs. A rehab facility will be better equipped to individualize treatment plans when all patients are women. They can be more focused on the needs of women specifically.
- You may feel more comfortable. To get the most out of rehab, you need to be able to open up and make yourself vulnerable. The more comfortable you feel, the better you will be able to do this, and for many women, being around other women is more comfortable than including men.
- Cultural and socioeconomic differences. Women see and experience the world differently than men, and for the best treatment, these differences need to be taken into account. Also important are differences related to income, housing, education, employment and other important life factors. These differences need to be addressed so that women are provided with the best tools for facing life after addiction.
- Addressing women’s health. As a woman, your mind and body are affected and harmed by addiction in ways that are different from what men experience. When a treatment facility can focus only on women, it can give both physical and mental health care that is specialized for your unique needs.
- Focus on relationships. As compared to men, relationships are more central to a woman’s life. As women, we depend greatly on people in our lives. A female-only rehab takes this into account and places relationships, both outside and inside the treatment program, at the center of care.
- Avoiding romance. Developing romantic and even sexual relationships is not unheard of in rehab. In fact, it is quite common, although discouraged. For treatment to be most effective, you need to be focused on healing. With gender-specific rehab, patients are better able to concentrate on treatment and are less distracted. In traditional, coed rehab facilities, romantic relationships are not encouraged and are often outlawed, but they happen anyway. It is natural to make these kinds of connections, but they are detrimental to the success of treatment.
- Including trauma. Many women who abuse substances have experienced trauma, such as sexual assault or domestic violence. If you have had these experiences, you need a treatment program that addresses them. You cannot get well until you confront the trauma of your past. While men may also experience trauma, women are more likely to have been abused and to experience it in different ways. To address and treat the consequences of trauma, differences in gender experience need to be recognized.
Choosing a rehab facility and a treatment program for your addiction will be one of the most important decisions you make. If you have the opportunity to go to a female-only rehab, it could be the best option. Women and men have different experiences and different needs. By attending a treatment program that focuses on women, you may get the best possible care.